As a military engineer officer, I served my entire working life as a soldier. It may seem odd to the reader that this limited-edition book is a collection of poems and short stories. Most retired military authors write biographies, their own, or about others they admire, scholarly works or military based novels. Few chose poetry as a genre to describe their lives. Poetry is often overlooked as a medium to portray a story. For many, poetry lacks appeal to describe military life. More than any other genre it relies almost exclusively the reader’s own imagination. It is a highly expressive mechanism for the writer and the reader’s mind. Very often a soldier’s poetry is deeply emotional, despairing, filled with angst, sometimes hate and fear. Occasionally the lightness and humour show through to mask the extensive, frequently lasting emotional turmoil soldiers often experience. A soldier poet often finds a therapeutic and cathartic release through the creation of a poem.
This modest but eclectic anthology of poems and short stories offers a glimpse into the life and times of a modern professional soldier over a forty-year period. It is loosely designed to show that soldiers are also vulnerable to the great emotional stresses that can affect everybody in every walk of life. It is a short, easily read book will stir many reader’s memories of their own life experiences.